Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

How Aquatic Invasive Species are Spread Q&A

Are boats and trailers potential transport mechanisms for AIS?

Image of a boat with invasive plants hanging on it.

Yes for some, but not for all. Many AIS are fish or animal species, or non-submersed plants that do not affix to boating equipment and would therefore not normally be transported on a boat or trailer. The AIS species most likely to be spread via boats are those that can cling to boats and trailers or survive in water found in the boat's bilge, live wells or bait wells.

Besides boats and trailers, how else might AIS be introduced into a waterbody?

Unfortunately, there are a number of different means by which AIS might find their way into a body of water. These include:

  • Purposeful introductions by those desiring a certain fish or other form of aquatic life in a body of water for sport or food
  • Dumping of baitfish contaminated with AIS
  • Release of live animals for religious or ceremonial purposes
  • Dumping of home aquaria and the plants and animals within
  • Escapes from ornamental fish ponds
  • Wildlife (entanglement in feathers, fur, etc.)

How do I best prevent the introduction of AIS into a waterbody?

There is no single way to keep all AIS from entering a body of water. As noted in the previous question, boats and trailers are but one way by which AIS can be spread. In developing a plan of action for a particular waterbody, it is best to first determine what species are likely to be introduced into the waterbody, the likelihood of the introduction being successful, the ecological and economic risk from these AIS, and the primary means by which the AIS might be introduced.

Additional Related Questions and Answers

Questions and answers on cleaning and disinfection techniques for boaters

Questions and answers on aquatic species of concern for New York boaters

Questions and answers on additional aquatic invasive species information and advice for boaters

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8920.
  • Contact for this Page
    Bureau of Fisheries
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4753
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions